Suns appoint Jazz assistant as head coach

Reuters
Serbian Igor Kokoskov will become the NBA's first ever head coach born outside North America after agreeing a deal with the Phoenix Suns, the team announced on Wednesday.
Reuters
AFP

Utah Jazz forward Jae Crowder goes up for a shot while being defended by Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul during Game 2 of their NBA Western Conference semifinals at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, on Wednesday. The Jazz held on for a 116-108 victory to level their best-of-7 series at one apiece, with Australian forward Joe Ingles scoring a playoff career-high 27 points. NBA scoring champion James Harden notched 32 points with 11 assists and 7 rebounds for the Rockets, who erased a 19-point first-half deficit to take a 5-point lead in the third quarter.

SERBIAN Igor Kokoskov will become the NBA’s first ever head coach born outside North America after agreeing a deal with the Phoenix Suns, the team announced on Wednesday.

Currently Utah Jazz assistant, Kokoskov will join the Suns once the Jazz’s season is complete.

“Igor has been a pioneer throughout his basketball career and he brings a wealth of high-level coaching experience to our club,” Suns general manager Ryan McDonough said in a statement. “He was one of the first non-American born assistant coaches at both the NCAA and NBA levels and his most recent head coaching stint includes leading the Slovenian national team to the 2017 EuroBasket title. Igor’s teams have always had a player development focus, a creative style of play and a track record of success.”

Kokoskov, 46, will replace Jay Triano, who served as Phoenix’s interim head coach for most of the 2017-18 campaign after the Suns fired Earl Watson three games into the season.

Kokoskov has spent 18 years as an NBA assistant, including the last three with the Jazz following stints with the Orlando Magic, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers.

He also coached the Georgian national team from 2008-15 and the Slovenian team from 2016-17.


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